Education

As DU Colleges Face Stiff Competition for Seats, Kejriwal Asks Centre to Change Rules

It is not fair on students, the Delhi chief minister has argued, that it is so difficult to get admission in a Delhi University college.

New Delhi: With over 38,000 students scoring over 95% and nearly 1.6 lakh students securing over 90% in the Class 12 examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education this year, seats are running short in Delhi University colleges. This, on Friday, prompted Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to write to the Union education minister for an amendment to the Delhi University Act, so that more DU colleges may be opened.

`No new college has opened under DU in over 30 years’

In the letter to Ramesh Pokhriyal, Kejriwal demanded that Section 5(2) Delhi University Act, 1922 be abolished so that new colleges and universities can be opened in Delhi. He said under this Act, the affiliation norms made by the British restricted the opening of new colleges.

Explaining the issue further, Kejriwal wrote that Delhi University has 91 affiliated colleges but has over the last 30 years not opened a new college as it has already exceeded its capacity. “Because of this very reason as stated in this Act under Section 5(2), no new affiliating university or college can be set up. It was amended in 1998 and allowed IP University to do affiliation. IP University was launched to offer professional courses only and not regular courses like BA, BSc. But, now IP also has 127 affiliated colleges, and it too has surpassed its capacity,” he added.

`Only around half of 2.5 lakh students passing Class 12 get admission in Delhi’

The chief minister said despite securing high marks, many students were unable to secure a seat in Delhi University. Students are facing a tough time getting enrolled in colleges because of high cut-off marks, he said, and asked, “with cut-offs touching 100%, what will happen to students who secure 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, 95%?”

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He also observed that every year, Delhi has around 2,50,000 students passing out from school, but only around 1,25,000 of them will manage to get admission in Delhi-based colleges. “If we talk numerically, it means 2 students are fighting for 1 seat leading to a cut-throat competition. Leaving behind the other 1.25 lakh students without any resources. This means that colleges in Delhi can only accommodate 50% of students. Where will the other 50% go?”

In view of this problem, Kejriwal said: “Therefore there is a need to establish more universities and colleges in Delhi to effectively solve this problem for our students. The Delhi Government is ready to invest, however, there is a legal impediment being faced.”

`High cut-offs not a fault of students, but of governments’

Defending the right of students to get admission, he wrote: “Students trying to get admission in colleges are facing trouble, given the 100% cut-offs. Students below that mark too, have the right to quality higher education. High cut-offs are not the fault of students, it’s our fault.”

The chief minister said it was due to the fault of previous Delhi governments and Central governments that there was a paucity of universities and colleges in Delhi in comparison to the ever-rising number of students. “Given that Delhi is the Capital of the nation, it should have been at par with the increasing number of students. However, there is a stark imbalance in the ratio of the number of universities to the number of students.”

Students scoring over 90% rose sharply this year

The problem this year appears to have been exacerbated by the high scores which CBSE gave to Class 12 students. A look at the data reveals that students who scored 95% above increased from 17,693 in 2019 to 38,686 this year. Similarly, the number of students who scored more than 90% also increased from about 94,000 in 2019 to almost 1.6 lakh this year.

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Since Delhi University is a Central university, students from all over the country are entitled to seek admission here and this is why the cut-offs have increased dramatically.

Kejriwal hoped that the Centre will address the issue quickly. “I am hopeful that the Central government will definitely ponder over this and will definitely alter this act to suit the need of the hour. I believe the stress factor is escalating in students because of this system. If there will be cut-offs as high as 100%, where will students go? This calls for a step to take in this direction to for once and for all end this for the sake of our students’ future,” he said.